Bleeding Kansas – Dead Under Décor (CD)

From “Can’t Help You There”, which cribs the guitar line from a seventies song (which is on the tip of my tongue but can’t come forth any farther), Bleeding Kansas shows that a return the basics should be a welcome thing. Most of the tracks on “Dead Under Décor” do not follow that ethos, and as such Bleeding Kansas’ music does not move beyond the new style of hardcore that was showcased on “1859”.

“Retract the Altitude” is a fine opening for “Dead Under Décor”, but the major problem that rears its ugly head on the track (but only to a minor degree) is that the band relies on the same riff for much too long. If the tendency was just noticeable in “Retract The Altitude”, the band could be left off of the hook. This, unfortunately is something that comes back time and time again. Riffs can be repeated for success – just look at Vore – but what differentiates Bleeding Kansas from Vore is that fact that Vore changes up each iteration of the track enough to notice. Each of the Bleeding Kansas tracks on this disc start off interesting, full of energy and are as heavy as they come but soon enough create a rut that most of the songs cannot escape from.

“Your Scares Never Heal” is a track that is on the verge of creating a rut for itself, but the drumming present during the track differentiates the overall sound enough to keep individuals captive for the track’s runtime. “Can’t Help You There’ has to be the high point for Bleeding Kansas during “Dead Under Décor”. In this track, a dual vocal assault awaits listeners, something that is abandoned much too quickly to completely turn this disc around. The more metal-based guitar work present on the track, coupled with the aforementioned vocals makes this track one of the highlights of “Dead Under Décor”. “Drowning In A Sea of Shit” marks another change for Bleeding Kansas in the use of a slower, more sludgy sound that gives individuals pause for long enough to really allow Bleeding Kansas to affect their emotions. The disc is not without its flaws, but Bleeding Kansas plays a serviceable brand of hardcore that is sufficiently removed from the inapproachable technicore that dominates hardcore to enjoy. Perhaps if the band continued to incorporate different styles into their approach, the next album will be more of an unqualified success.

Top Tracks: Drowning In A Sea of Shit, Right By Your Side

Rating: 5.5/10

Bleeding Kansas – Dead Under Décor / 2006 Abacus / 14 Tracks / http://www.bleedingkansas.net / http://www.abacusrecordings.com / Reviewed 19 March 2006

[JMcQ]

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